Martin Luther King’s Death – Handgun

Photo of Martin Luther KingThe official history in this timestream says that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., died from a rifle wound.

However, even the official story has some conflicts. First, start with the story in this timestream.


Martin Luther King was shot and killed by a sniper on April 4, 1968, while standing on the second-floor balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee.  The gun was a Remington Gamemaster 760 .30-06-caliber rifle, purchased by James Earl Ray on on March 30, 1968, as Ray drove to Memphis.

Initially, Ray pleaded guilty to avoid the death sentence.  At that time, it was death by electrocution.

Three days later, Ray tried to change his plea.  Ray said that he did not “personally shoot Dr. King.” Ray admitted that he might have been, “partially responsible without knowing it.”  He claimed he’d been approached in Montreal, Canada, to join a conspiracy to kill Dr. King, but Ray said he was not the killer. He’d only wanted to become famous.

Ray spent the rest of his life trying to withdraw his guilty plea, and prove his innocence. James Early Ray died in 1998 of complications from Hepatitis C, at age 70.

In 1997, Loyd Jowers, a Memphis restaurant owner, was sued as part of a conspiracy to assassinate Martin Luther King, Jr.  Jowers was found legally liable for the assassination.  Wikipedia reports that “The King family has since concluded that Ray did not have anything to do with the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr.”

So, the official story of the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. is already a little uncertain.  That kind of “wobble” in history interests me, because it opens the door to questions about its stability in the timestream.  Pivot points in history sometimes indicate an overlap with alternate history.


In another comment at this website, The Mandela Effect, Matt reports the following very clear and detailed memory:

“Per every source I can find, King was shot with a rifle by a white man named James Earl Ray. However, what I remember reading as a child and learning in school is that King was shot and killed with a handgun at close range by a black woman. The location remained the same, however. I don’t remember her name or other key details, except that I think she was mentally ill and almost certain she was killed not long after, either by police in some kind of altercation, or by her own hand.

“Again, this is a memory of what I ‘learned’ in school, rather than a memory of events current to me, since I wasn’t born until the late 1970s, long after his death. Maybe I’m somehow confusing King with another slain civil rights leader I learned about, or my memory is simply bad, but I just can’t shake that eerie feeling that both the historical account and my own memories are somehow ‘right’.”

Though I don’t have that memory, it resonated as something true.  I felt confident that, when that comment appeared, others would recall it, too.

Right away, Gurluas — a frequent contributor to threads — was able to add to this:

“I also remember Martin Luther King being shot with a handgun, I remember reading that in school.”

If you share that memory, or have an alternate memory that might resonate with readers, I hope you’ll share them.

63 thoughts on “Martin Luther King’s Death – Handgun”

  1. I honestly think you’re on to something here. I too, remember learning in school that Martin Luther King was shot with a handgun. I remember that detail so clearly that the very first line of this article seemed odd to me.

  2. There was a mentally unstable woman who tried to kill him shortly before his death—she stabbed him.
    That being said—I just googled it—it is not something I knew–however when I read this thread it resonated something in me.

  3. When I clicked on POST comment —a message came up that said you have already posted this—I scrolled up and there it was…I promise you I did not already post it—this just happened right now.

  4. I remember reading a picture book about MLK, and it said he was killed by a grenade which was thrown through his living room window. Very strange, now I know it was at some kind of motel, but I still remember that picture book and the drawing of the window very distinctly, it drew the window with a smashed hole in it where the grenade went in, and there were white curtains fluttering in the wind. MLK was sitting there in a rocking chair when the grenade went off.

    Of course, this is completely different from what was supposed to have happened.

    At the same time, I remember watching on the news some report of him being shot with a handgun too. In fact, this is the first place I read that it was a sniper – that really surprised me!

    1. I remember him being killed by a bomb as well! I guess I pictured it as a big cartoony bomb and not a grenade, but still. This sniper murder is completely new to me.

      1. Could you guys be thinking of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, which left four girls murdered?

        This was very soon after the shooting death of Medgar Evers, too, so perhaps you’ve gotten him confused for King.

        The two events even make up the same paragraph in my history textbook:

        Still the violence continued. On the very night of
        Kennedy’s stirring television address, a white gunman
        shot down Medgar Evers, a black Mississippi civil rights
        worker. In September 1963 an explosion blasted a
        Baptist church in Birmingham, killing four black girls
        who had just finished their lesson called “The Love That
        Forgives.” By the time of Kennedy’s death, his civil rights
        bill was making little headway, and frustrated blacks
        were growing increasingly impatient.

        1. I also remember it being a grenade or bomb, it was shown in a film we watched in elementary school and it was that his house exploded, i was born in 1998 so this was something recent. I had no idea of a sniper as well.

    2. Interesting… I have vivid memories of watching a video in elementary all about MLK Jr. I specifically remember a scene in the movie where a man threw a grenade or bomb through the window of MLKs’ home. I remember the sound effect it made, I remember the way the white curtains blew around after. I remember the narrator explaing how MLK died in March from explosive thrown through his window in the night. I actually got into an argument with a friend because she swears she remembers he was shot.

  5. I remember hearing that he was shot in the back of the head while walking out of a motel. It was also with a handgun.

  6. Hey guys, Oswald was killed by Jack Ruby at close range with a handgun. Both this event and MLK Jr’s assassination happened in the 60’s, which might be similar enough for you to get the details crossed.

    1. TJ (anon), I can see the two killings (Oswald and Martin Luther King, Jr.) being confused, but if it were that easy to explain, I’d expect more people morphing Jack Kennedy’s death and Oswald’s, since they were days apart and in the same location. So far: zero reports like that.

  7. Im not american but I am a great history fan, and until I saw this entrie I’ve always thought MLK was shot dead with a handgun by a black woman. I don’t know why, because I’ve never estudied MLK, or search information about him, but I always thought his dead was by a handgun.
    This web blow my mind.

  8. This is odd. I distinctly remember MLK dying of natural causes, I think lung problems. Long after he was supposed to have been assassinated… I remember some television programme saying that.

  9. I vaguely remember a trial were a devision of the US government was found guilty in murdering MLK jr.

    I think it was around 1999, I know thats quite far off from the murder but sooooo few people seem to know about it.

  10. i don’t believe in this stuff, but i’ll add that i distinctly remember learning that he was shot with a handgun while on a second story balcony, by someone outside. i don’t remember it being a black woman, though.

  11. uhuh. no. Everyone is wrong here. How am I seeing reports of riots after his death? This is NOT what happened. Martin Luther King Jr. was stabbed TO DEATH, not hurt, but stabbed to death by a very mentally deranged African American woman in 1963 or 4. There was no conspiracy. And WHO THE HELL IS JAMES EARL RAY? The only James Earl I know of is James Earl Jones. Period. King died in 1963 or early 64. I was born in 1973. He was gone long, long, long before I was born. There was no hand gun. There was definitely no rifle. There was absolutely no conspiracy regarding his death. It was just a national tragedy. No RIOTS. I repeat. NO RIOTS. Because he wasn’t assassinated. He was murdered by a crazy lady. Now Malcom X, he was shot in the later 60’s a couple YEARS AFTER KING DIED. A lot of people felt like the world lost a peaceful civil rights leader when King died, and Malcolm X stepped in to fill the void with division and militant messages of hate. There is absolutely no way he was awarded the peace prize while he was alive. That prize was awarded post humously. Some people said he was awarded it just because he died. And here as I write this, I suddenly find myself doubting my own extensive knowledge of the Civil Rights Movement. This story… He wasn’t shot. He just wasn’t. I am right. He was stabbed. And it was way, way later than 1958. There was not rifle. There were not riots.

    1. anonymous,

      Wow. SUCH detailed memories! Thanks for posting them here. Let’s see where this leads. I have seen the “deranged woman” memory before, but I’d have to check the comments to see if those were public or among the ones people want kept private.

      This is great research material. Thank you for taking the time to post this!


    2. If that’s real to you, then your timeline is very altered indeed. Your timeline doesn’t allow for his 1967 speech on Vietnam: “A Time to Break Silence”, which is thought by many to be the catalyst for his assassination in the first place. Even King acknowledged within the speech that he’d likely be killed for it. It’s moving, to say the least.

  12. I just asked my son about it, and he said King was shot in the head by a hand gun. My son is still in grade school.

  13. From wiki:

    Alberta King was shot and killed on June 30, 1974 by a 23-year-old black man named Marcus Wayne Chenault as she sat at the organ of the Ebenezer Baptist Church. Chenault was a deranged gunman from Ohio who stated that he shot King because “all Christians are my enemies.” Chenault claimed that he had decided that black ministers were a menace to black people, and that his original target had been Martin Luther King, Sr, but decided to shoot his wife instead because she was close to him. During the shooting, one of the church’s deacons, Edward Boykin, was also killed, and a woman was wounded. Chenault was sentenced to death; although this sentence was upheld on appeal, he was later resentenced to life in prison, partially as a result of the King family’s opposition to the death penalty. On August 3, 1995, he suffered a stroke, and was taken to a hospital, where he died of complications from his stroke on August 22.

    Apparently a crazed black man did kill MLK’s mother with a handgun. Maybe the timelines have “twisted” just slightly where it was a mentally ill person with a handgun, but the sexes switched where a woman instead of man shot King Jr, and a mentally ill woman instead of a man shot Mrs. King.

    Either way the rabbit hole goes deep with MLK. The King caused potential revolution and there’s almost no doubt that if Ray wasn’t government, it was someone alike (CIA, FBI) that took him out… Also many believe the black man who shot Mrs. King was a Manchurian Candidate. He supposedly foamed at the mouth and passed out directly after shooting her.

  14. I remember learning that he was shot in the chest up close with a revolver by a white assassin on a second floor balcony, and that the assassin was later caught. I just recently took an APUS history class, I’ll have to go through and find my notes (if I still have them) on MLK to see what the teacher told us

  15. I remember learning in school that he was shot at close range by a black woman wielding a hand gun, same as the article says. She moved to the front of the crowd and shot him while he was speaking and then shot herself.

  16. This article brought to my attention that I didn’t really know how Martin Luther King died, other than the basic concept that he was assassinated. It does sound to me that the official story, being shot at by a sniper on a balcony, should have been something I would have remembered.

  17. I don’t remember who shot him, but I DEFINITELY remember that he was walking outside his hotel and someone came up and shot him. I do remember learning this in school. Also, now that I read this, it ALWAYS seem strange to me that the lyrics in the U2 song speak of a ‘shot rang out’, which coincides with a sniper shot, but I never put 2 and 2 together.

  18. OKAY I definitely remember him being shot with a handgun, and I remember learning it in school but my dad remembers him being shot with a rifle. It’s freaking me out!

  19. I remember being taught that he was shot with a rifle while he was standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel and the shooter (James Earl Ray) shot from a second-floor window in the building across the street (I think it was a warehouse, but it’s part of the museum now so I can’t tell what function it served by looking at it). I live in Memphis so when I was in school and we had our lessons on the civil rights movement, we’d go to the Civil Rights Museum that occupies the both the Lorraine Motel and the building across the street that the shooter was in. The building across the street also houses the gun used which was some sort of rifle. I was pretty young the last time I went, so I don’t know if it was a sniper rifle, but it definitely wasn’t a handgun. I’m just now finding out that Civil Rights Movement education is pretty scant outside of the south, but the schools in this region teach what I outlined above.

  20. I remember it being a hand gun from a large range. I feel like I remember that being covered in school. That it was shot from the next roof over and he was in his hotel. Maybe I am being confused with someone else. But I feel like I remember thinking to myself as a young person “that person had to have been a good shot to shoot across the street with a hand gun.”

  21. I remember this one slightly differently from the two common versions. I learned that King was shot with a rifle from the southern corner of the parking lot, at street level, not from across the street. I always thought that was a terrible way to assassinate someone. Results seem to be mixed about 50/50 from other people that I ask.

  22. I don’t remember him being shot at all…. I remember him dying when his house was bombed and that’s what led to the riots and that’s what the Gov’t was blamed for.. for the small bomb (maybe a grenade as posted above).

    1. His house was bombed, but he wasn’t home and his family was not near the front of the house, so no one was killed…in MY reality anyway.

  23. Probably gonna get buried, but I was taught in school in around 2005 that MLK Jr died because his wife shot him with a handgun while hiding in a bush- And MLK was the one standing on the balcony.

    It was presented in a weird 90’s cartoon about kids who visit a house museum for MLK, find a watch that takes them through time to various points in his life, and ends with the typical “Wow! What happened? But we sure did learn a lot!” stereotype.

  24. I always thought it was with a rifle on the balcony , but if TPTB have time altering technology , I could see why they would alter it from a black woman to a white man. Since the race division agenda is in full swing even to this day by TPTB and their media propaganda machine.

  25. I remember watching a movie about him in grade school where he walked through a door and was shot at close range

  26. I remember him exiting his room to outside and being approached and shot, possibly from behind by a white man with a handgun

  27. Here’s what I remember. The guy went up to visit him in the hotel, some sort of altercation happened and they shared words FACE-TO-FACE in the SAME ROOM and the WHITE guy shot him with a HANDGUN. That’s the exact synopsis I remember reading years ago.

  28. I recall watching a cartoon in school that showed MLK jr walking into what i thought they said was his home, where a white man with a rifle shot him from the second floor just as martin entered. Don’t know if i just remember that wrong, or if the cartoon was wrong

  29. I have mixed confusion on how he died. But reading how people say they believe he died by bombing in his own home, I remember that there WAS a bombing, but none of his family was harmed:

    what if people are remembering an alternate timeline where, instead of being out speaking at a meeting, he had actually been home and killed? It’s a possibility…

  30. I wasn’t sure if the bombing thing was real or not… I did think before reading this that how he died was related to the bombing, but that no one else was harmed. However, after reading the recorded history report that seems to ring more true. Still after viewing some of the other coinciding anecdote of deviating memories and see this as a topic all day long I had thought he had died from the bombing at his house…

    1. Nick,

      Many of us have some “twin” memories… two versions of an event in our memory banks. Sometimes the outcome is the same but we have two different sets of memories leading to that single outcome.

      In other cases, the twin memories are similar, but have some critically different content as well as different outcomes.

      It’s odd, but seems to be emerging as people explore their memories of an alternate history.


  31. I have a very distinct memory of learning that he was shot with a handgun during the “I have a dream” speech…

    1. YES. THIS IS WHAT I REMEMBER. Maybe not that speech specifically, but it was during a peaceful protest where he was shot.

  32. I remember him being shot by a handgun inside of his room, but I think it was a male.

  33. OK this is making me go insane – I SWEAR in school I read that MLK was shot DURING a peaceful protest. And I haven’t seen anyone with this memory but it’s really freaking me out… I’m likely just wrong i just could have sworn he was outright murdered (not like an assassination plot, just murdered) by the guy with a pistol.

    I have to be wrong lol idk how I remember it this way at all.

  34. I remember learning in school, quite recently though, that a grenade was thrown into his window and killed him. Because I also remember copying it from my friend and getting a good grade. And I’m positive it was MLK. Then one day I came downstairs and my parents were watching a documentary, about him being shot in his motel room with a rifle. I was like wait what? I even searched through my things looking for a test I had taken that might’ve backed up me remembering him being killed by a grenade. Very weird feeling and I was really shaken up. This fascinates me!

  35. I too always thought that MLK was shot at close range with a handgun, but in the streets after delivering a speech. I always thought to myself that I confuse it somehow with the murder of John Lennon, but then I don’t remember ever hearing about MLK being sniped on some balcony.

  36. I remember learning that Martin Luther king jr was shot by a white male with a handgun as he was standing on a balcony of a motel by someone who was on the ground in the car park below.

    But what confuses me is that I SWEAR I remember that Martin Luther king sr. Was shot while giving a speech in church. I don’t know if this is even possible?

  37. I am actually still in high school, but I do remember learning very clearly that Martin Luther was killed close range. Anybody remember that movie “My Friend Martin?” Although I haven’t watched it since grade school I do remember seeing in the movie that Martin was killed close range, although it didn’t show graphics. I have such an eery feeling about this that I just can’t shake off.

  38. I just wanted to point out that i remember him being killed by the grenade through the window as well

  39. I remember seeing pictures of him being shot with a hand gun by a white man while he was on stage giving a speech. I remember there also being strange similarities to those images and the one of Robert Kennedys shooting.

  40. I work for an older gentlemen and I was at work while reading into this. I told him about it and he said “Mlk was shot by a black woman with a handgun in Chicago but that’s not when he was killed”. He was then later shot by a rifle and killed.

    1. He said he might not have been a black woman whonshot him with a handgun, but he said he 100% remembers mlk being shot (but not killed) by a handgun in Chicago. He grew up in Chicago in the 60s and it had happened not far from where he lived. I haven’t been able to find any source to back this up, but there’s gotta be something.

    2. Robert, I looked this up and don’t have time to filter all the MLK-related articles talking about threats on his life. However, at a casual glance, the one with the most details — though I also don’t have time to double-check the accuracy, completeness, or editorial slant — is at The Izola Curry story has the most support; see

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